Emotion, cognitive structure, and action tendency
Abstract In current cognitive emotion theory emotional experiences are described as particular types of cognitive structures. Two studies are reported that test an implication of this theory, namely, the prediction that intuitive similarity of emotion or mood states corresponds with similarity between such structures. Cognitive structures of different emotions (?appraisal profiles?) were obtained by having subjects rate a number of emotions or mood words as to presence of a number of appraisal components. Intuitive similarity measures consisted of correlations between mood adjective questionnaire items and (in Study 2) outcomes of a word sorting task. High correspondence was found between appraisal profile similarities and intuitive similarities. Exploratory analyses confirmed the importance of several appraisal components discussed in the literature and provided tentative evidence for some additional ones. In a third study, the hypothesis was explored that cognitive structures of emotions also include representations of action readiness. Subjects were presented with 30 of the emotion words used in Study 2. Remembered or imagined experiences of each of the emotions were rated in terms of 16 modes of action readiness. High agreement was obtained in assigning action readiness modes to emotions. Strong correlations existed between particular appraisal patterns and particular forms of action readiness. Similarity in action readiness profiles showed correspondence with appraisal pattern similarity and with the indices of intuitive similarity.